(1) The natural heritage advisory council is hereby established. The council shall consist of fifteen members, ten of whom shall be chosen as follows and who shall elect from the council's membership a chairperson:
(a) Five individuals, appointed by the commissioner, who shall be recognized experts in the ecology of natural areas and represent the public, academic, and private sectors. Desirable fields of expertise are biological and geological sciences; and
(b) Five individuals, appointed by the commissioner, who shall be selected from the various regions of the state. At least one member shall be or represent a private forest landowner and at least one member shall be or represent a private agricultural landowner.
(2) Members appointed under subsection (1) of this section shall serve for terms of four years.
(3) In addition to the members appointed by the commissioner, the director of the department of fish and wildlife, the director of the department of ecology, the supervisor of the department of natural resources, the director of the state parks and recreation commission, and the director of the recreation and conservation office, or an authorized representative of each agency officer, shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the council.
(4) Any vacancy on the council shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term by the commissioner.
(5) In order to provide for staggered terms, of the initial members of the council:
(a) Three shall serve for a term of two years;
(b) Three shall serve for a term of three years; and
(c) Three shall serve for a term of four years.
(6) Members of the natural preserves advisory committee serving on July 26, 1981, shall serve as members of the council until the commissioner appoints a successor to each. The successor appointment shall be specifically designated to replace a member of the natural preserves advisory committee until all members of that committee have been replaced. A member of the natural preserves advisory committee is eligible for appointment to the council if otherwise qualified.
(7) Members of the council shall serve without compensation. Members shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060 as now or hereafter amended.
[2007 c 241 § 24; 1998 c 50 § 1; 1994 c 264 § 62; 1988 c 36 § 55; 1981 c 189 § 4.]
| Intent -- Effective date -- 2007 c 241: See notes following RCW 79A.25.005.|